|A family of pears: Papa, Mama, |
Teen, and Baby
A task for another day.
Today I'm dealing with pears. My sister has a pear tree in her yard and just gave me a huge box of them. You can't refuse or ignore free fruit, so I decided to can them.
Here are my step by step instructions:
You will need:
1. a pressure cooker canner. Mine hold 7 quarts or pints.
2. another big kettle to boil the fruit in.
3. a strainer on a stand with a one-handled rolling pin
4. Canning Mason jars with the metal rims (that you can use many times). You can get pint jars or quart jars. I like the wide-mouth jars the best.
5. dome lids. You use these once and discard. The jars you buy have them already, but you'll need more if you keep canning in the future!
6. wide-mouth funnel that fits on top of jars
7. Pears or apples
8. red hot candies
9. Vitamin C tablets (capsules also work, but tablets dissolve better.)
Walmart has these supplies. Or Amazon.
READY, SET, CAN!
2. Put a big kettle of water on to boil
3. Quarter the pears. I cut off the stem, but you don't have to peel or seed them.
4. Put them in the water and boil them until a sharp knife can cut them with no effort
5. Pour them into a big colander to drain off the water. They are nice and mushy now.
6. Place your strainer over a bowl (mine is handily on a stand) and using a wooden one-handle rolling pin, strain the mushy pears into the bowl. The seeds and skin stay behind, and the delicious pear sauce strains through. You'll have to do this many times, and will also have to repeatedly scrape out the inside of the strainer to get rid of the pear parts to discard.
7. Stir in some red-hot candies and sugar. Or not. Make it to your taste. I used about 1/4 c. candies for the bowl you see (that held enough sauce for 3+ pints), and 1/4 c. sugar. But sometimes I've used no sugar at all.
8. Using the wide-mouth funnel, fill the jar to 1/2" from top
9. Add one Vitamin C tablet. This prevents the fruit from changing color. It's mostly for use if you want to can fruit slices in a sugar syrup (see directions at the end of the blog), but I always put it in the sauce jars too. Habit. And more vitamin C is a good thing!
10. Wipe off the top of the jar rim with a towel (so it will seal well) and put a flat lid on it, then screw on the metal ring.
11. Place the jars in the pressure cooker in a circle, with one in the middle. In my cooker I can get six around the sides and one in the middle. It's okay if they touch. Read the directions for your pressure cooker, but mine says to add 2 quarts of water around the jars.
12. Secure the pressure cooker lid and place the jiggle-pressure bauble (what IS the term for this?) at 5# pressure on top of the cooker.
13. Turn the burner on high. When the bauble starts bobbling (ha!) and continues to bobble about 4 times a minute, it means the air inside the cooker has been removed. NOW start timing. 10 minutes. You can turn the heat down to Medium Hi, but you want the bauble to keep making noise at 4 bobbles /minute. It can be more, but not less.
14. When the ten minutes is up, turn off the heat and leave it alone! This is very important for your safety. I set the timer at 45 minutes and leave it alone for that amount of time.
15. After 45 minutes, open the lid, but angle it toward the back because you will be releasing a lot of steam. Carefully remove the jars to a towel on the counter. You can use a fancy jar grabber tool, but I just use a towel. The jars are very hot!
16. Leave the jars alone to cool. No breeze, just naturally. After 8 hours or so you can remove the metal screw-top lids. The tops of the gold dome lid should be indented, meaning there is a good seal! I like to write the date on the lid with a Sharpie.
Voila! I made 7 pints of pear pieces and 13 pints of pear sauce! It took 3 hours.
More directions: To can pear pieces (you can see them behind the sauce above), I peeled and cored the pears, but did not boil them because they were ripe already. I added a sugar water--sweet to your taste--to 1/2" from the top. Add Vitamin C and repeat #10-16.
I know there are other methods, but this is the way my mom taught me, and I'm not going to argue with her (she's 93!) Try canning. It will make you feel so domestic and healthy!
Check out other food items I've pinned on Pinterest!